The Darker Side of Western Modernity

The Darker Side of Western Modernity : Global Futures, Decolonial Options

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During the Renaissance, Europeans colonized time and space, inventing the historical eras Antiquity and the Middle Ages; mapping, appropriating, and exploiting the Americas; and establishing the idea that European modernity was the apogee of human history and the model for the world to emulate. Walter D. Mignolo analyzes the "colonial logic" that has driven five hundred years of Western imperialism, from colonialism through neo-liberalism, and he describes resistance, from the sixteenth century onward, to the projection and violent forcing of modern European ideals onto the non-European world. Mignolo argues that in the early twenty-first century, an irreversible polycentric world order has taken hold. European-American modernity is no longer taken for granted as a global model. The creation of multiple, global futures not dominated by the West is well underway; it was visible in the Zapatista movement's displacement of the separation between theory and practice, and it can be seen in the election and government of Evo Morales in Bolivia. Advocating for the pluralisation of ways of being and knowing, Mignolo contributes to the projects of decolonization unfolding in different forms around the world.

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  • Paperback | 458 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 27.94mm | 612.35g
  • Duke University Press
  • North CarolinaUnited States
  • English
  • 1 drawing, 2 maps, 2 figures
  • 0822350785
  • 9780822350781
  • 126,225

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"It is dense, but refreshing and ultimately uplifting. Walter Mignolo's visionary ideas about the decline and fall of (Western) modernity and hence leadership should be on the syllabus in schools, let alone higher education institutions."--EC, The Latin American Review of Books "Walter D. Mignolo is one of our leading theorists of coloniality/modernity and de-colonial thinking. With this superb book, the third in an 'unintended' trilogy exploring the nature and limits of modern social thought, Mignolo continues his ambition to 'break the Western code' embodied in its rhetoric of modernity and logic of coloniality. This volume brings to light a darker side of the project of modernity, the oppressive relations that were at its heart, and offers de-colonial options for the building of communal futures different from our pasts. It is necessary reading for all those interested in the emancipatory potential of social theory for dealing with the challenges of the twenty-first century." Gurminder K. Bhambra, author of Rethinking Modernity: Postcolonialism and the Sociological Imagination "The Darker Side of Western Modernity is a significant, visionary, and hopeful text. More than just revealing the logic and strategy at work in the 'darker side of Western modernity,' the book makes evident and gives life to de-colonial de-linking and thought. Its eye is toward emergent processes and projects of political-epistemic resistance, disobedience, and transformation that give sustenance, reason, and concretion to the prospect and anticipation of other possible worlds. Through these processes and projects, Mignolo remaps the order of knowing, reading, and doing, while also indicating paths and perspectives for significantly different communal futures." Catherine E. Walsh, director, Doctoral Program in Latin American Cultural Studies, Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Quito, Ecuador "...the book is elegantly written, even poetic or lyrical at times...I have always appreciated Mignolo's ability to refine and rework his ideas, and this book seems to be the best example of such evolutionary thinking yet." - Darrel Allan Wanzer, Cultural Studies "...The Darker Side of Western Modernity contains a powerful argument running through its nine chapters... Mignolo's familiarity with so many writers, many of whom were extremely important in their own region but hardly known elsewhere, is truly impressive and shows his deep curiosity about what intellectuals are thinking in places outside the zones of interest of the Western academy." - Partha Chatterjee, American Ethnologist

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About Walter Mignolo

Walter D. Mignolo is Director of the Institute for Global Studies in Humanities, William H. Wannamaker Professor of Literature and Romance Studies, and Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. He is the author of "The Idea of Latin America"; "Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges, and Border Thinking"; and "The Darker Side of The Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality and Colonization "and a co-editor of "Rereading the Black Legend: The Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires."

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